This surname of COMRIE is a Scottish habitation name from any of various places called COMRIE, for example in Fife and in the former county of Perth. All are called from the Gaelic COMARACH, literally meaning the dweller at the river-fork. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. Early instances of the name include John COMBRY, son of John COMBERY de EODEM, who was granted a charter of the lands of COMBRY, Kungart in 1476. John de CUMRE had a charter in 1447, and John COMRIE in the paroch of COMRIE is in record in 1673. Sixteen of the name are recorded in the Commissariot Record of Dunblane in the 17th and 18th centuries. (This Commissariot Record was the record of the court which had jurisdiction over domestic relations). In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe. A notable member of the name was Leslie John COMRIE (1893-1950) the New Zealand astronomer and pioneer in mechanical computation, born in Pukeohe. He was educated at Auckland University College and Cambridge. After teaching in the USA, he joined HM Nautical Alamanic Office in 1926, becoming superintendent (1930-36). Regarded as the foremost computer and table-maker of his day, in 1936 he founded the Scientific Computing Service Limited.
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